Our Team

Jessie Barry Program Manager
Jessie helps lead the Macaulay Library and Merlin Bird ID. She joined the Lab in 2008 as the Assistant Curator of Audio in the Macaulay Library, then went on to lead Merlin, and is now back in the Macaulay Library as the program manager.

Tayler Brooks Archival Coordinator
Tayler assists in the development of Neotropical multimedia projects.

Rick Elliker Lead Media Engineer
Rick is responsible for the quality, safety, and availability of the entire Macaulay Library archive. He provides engineering support for all Macaulay Library field, archival, and storage hardware systems and software.


Cullen Hanks Project Manager
Cullen grew up in Texas with a love for natural history and adventure. As a teenager he connected with the birding community, which provided the framework that has defined his career. Cullen earned a BA in biology from Cornell University and a Master’s in Latin American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin where he researched the economics of the parrot trade and conservation. At the Macaulay Library, Cullen manages several projects involving data collection and media curation. He also works on projects that tap into the contribution of different naturalist communities.

Tim Levatich Database Administrator
Tim builds and operates large databases at the Lab. Together with programmers and staff, he brings biodiversity information to scientists and the public. He supports systems for the Macaulay Library, the Information Science team, and the Membership & Development group.

Jay McGowan Archival Coordinator  
Jay’s primary responsibilities involve archival of audio and video specimens, and he manages the audio and video equipment loaner fleet.

Eliot Miller Collections Development Manager
Eliot is the Collections Development Manager for the Macaulay Library. He is responsible for growing the archive, increasing rates of data collection, and improving data quality. He interfaces with many lab programs including Information Science and outside partners. Eliot has been a naturalist since a young age and enjoys watching, identifying, and counting everything from birds to mushrooms and amphibians—anything that means he gets to be outside.

Vanessa Powell Administrative Assistant
As Administrative Assistant to Macaulay Library and other programs, Vanessa supports the teams with day-to-day business assuring that they have the tools to create, preserve, and educate.

Matt Schloss Web Designer 
Matt is a web designer and developer working with the Macaulay Library team. He relishes the opportunity to create interactive websites that feature beautiful images of birds, videos of amazing behavior, and audio recordings of the great diversity of bird songs.

Jeremy Smith Applications Programmer
One of the greatest things about the Lab is the broad community of people who want to share their images and recordings to help us create a world-class scientific archive. I work on the databases and back-end systems that archive these data and make it accessible to the community.

Matt Smith Applications Programmer

Matt is a lifelong birder, naturalist, writer, designer, and tinkerer with code, who daydreamed as a kid of working at the Cornell Lab. In his position with the Macaulay Library, he is thrilled to be working with a team of passionate, like-minded people to work with the Library’s spectacular archive and build applications that are both powerful and beautiful.

Andrew Spencer Digital Media Coordinator  
Andrew works on photo and audio content development for various lab apps and pages.


Grant Van Horn PhD Research Engineer
Grant uses data in the Macaulay Library to prototype machine learning applications that can be utilized and deployed throughout the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. His research focuses on the detection and identification of wildlife in images, audio, and video. His passion lies at the intersection of human-machine collaboration, where the collective strengths of humans and machines can be used to answer questions from data.

Drew Weber Merlin Project Manager
Drew coordinates mobile development for Merlin Bird ID and eBird Mobile, charting out new features to help users learn more about birds, and collaborating with partners to expand the app to the rest of the world. Drew also manages various web projects for the eBird and Macaulay Library teams. Drew has been birding since he was a kid and loves anything with birding and technology, so he feels fortunate to combine these two things every day.

Mike Webster, PhD Macaulay Library Director and Robert G. Engel Professor of Ornithology 
As Director, Mike oversees the various archival, collections development, and research/outreach activities of the Macaulay Library. He is also a Professor in the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior, with research focusing on the behavior and evolution of birds (particularly Australian fairy-wrens and New World warblers). Learn more about his research.


Karen Workman  Financial Analyst 
Karen oversees the financial management of the Macaulay Library and other units including the budgetary process, grant and contract administration, financial reporting, and assisting in the preparation of award proposals.

Students and Postdoctoral Researchers

Jordan Boersma Postdoc
Jordan Boersma has always been fascinated by gaudy birds and studies the causes and consequences of elaborate plumage. He is also inspired by the immense local knowledge and passion for birds in New Guinea. At Cornell, Jordan is working to provide training and long-term research opportunities for New Guinean people to lead scientific studies and conservation efforts on their incredible birds.

Alicia Brunner PhD Candidate
Alicia researches the impact of environmental change on the behavior of Neotropical migratory birds. While completing her M.Sc. at Ohio State, she studied how wintering Swainson’s Warblers respond to changes in seasonal precipitation by adjusting their space use. At Cornell, she will be investigating how climate change is influencing the timing of breeding, molt, migration, and potential life-history tradeoffs using the long-term study system of Black-throated blue warblers at Hubbard Brook Forest, NH

Madelyn Ore PhD Candidate
Madelyn is interested in investigating how neotropical migrant birds are adapting to changing climate and the lengthening of the green period during the breeding season. She is using a combination of genomic tools and ecological experiments to address this question in the Black-throated Blue Warbler.

Colleen Poje PhD Candidate
Colleen is fascinated by the evolution of sociality and the various strategies females use to reproduce and raise offspring. She is currently investigating the impact social group structure and individual social role have on the maternal investment strategies of Variegated Fairy-wrens. Colleen is also working on better understanding the relationship between brood parasitism and cooperative breeding.